Names and slogans

Yes our Unimog is an extension of us. So she will have a name and a slogan or two.

Our current popular name is: Ladybird.

And the current slogan are:

UNIMOG: Because when God made the earth He made it to be experienced without roads…

Our Unimog:
Diesel keeps us going forward
Water keeps us alive
Gas keeps us fed
But Faith is our destination.

Kitchen sinks and water tanks.

We spent the day poring over catalogues. Looking at measures and designs. And in the end you want to touch stuff. Paper just is not real enough. So we are on a mission to find a couple of show rooms.

Water: our initial designs incorporated a 10 cm wall being our water tank. This is turning out to be problematic. Our only solution is to flip the entire design. Ilse is not going to be happy…

Box learnings changes in our designs and reality checks.

Five days reflecting and we have made the following updates to our designs.

We discovered that we were working to the wrong measurements. You can go 60% of the gap between the tyres over the back. Thus we have an extra 10cm’s. We now have 3200mm in length.

We also agreed that the initial design which incorporated a 45 degree angle on the top front was a luxury we spend elsewhere. Thus we now have a square box 3200L *2300W * 2200H(excluding roof tent hatch or solar panels)

Diesel is out. Diesel does not have a good name when it come to ovens and hobs. The idea of just having one fuel source was tempting but the price was to high. Besides they cost an arm and a leg! So we are looking at gas again. And we are looking for storage for the gas bottle. As we will now only be carrying one tyre we could mount a spare bottle on the back so that is covered.

Air conditioning is out. The fuel (diesel or electricity) is to high. We will have aircon in the cabin for when we ride but as we have two boys and the doors will always be open and the roof up, an aircon does not make sense.

A heater is in. What does work is if it is cold and raining to have a small diesel heater.

And so the learning curve continuos. We must always remind ourselves that we are on a journey not just building a vehicle.

Four days at Atkinson’s Vos

Let me begin by saying the pre-requesit for working at Atkinson is patience. That is because i asked more questions than humanly possible and they answered with the patience that can only come from time.

The service / inspection took a couple of hours. Like an expecting father the wait for the final report was very stressful. But in the end nothing big was wrong. Lots of small things. Many seals and breaks needed replacing due to the long stand but all in all good news. She will stay in the hospital to fix.

The intercooler and newer radiator will be fitted but we decided updating the jets or adding the overdrive was not yet required. So she will get a new bonnet and front cover. A more modern look.

Simon and Michael ( our mechanic)also came up with brilliant designs to Move the battery box to the driver side and move the exhaust forward. They will then build and add two new 3mm aluminium fuel tanks. One with 240 L and the other with 360L. The 600L total should give us a range of 2000-2400km.

I was finally convinced to stay with the larger tyres and only carry one spare. The extra clearance and road grip is to good to give away. Simon did me a good deal to swop my one 395 that was a different tread for the same and gave me a good discount on a 395 to use as spare.

We decided hydraulic winch it will be and to our surprise discovered that it already had a tank and motor (secret forced additions not recorded….) however we will add this later.

Simon and Frank then made some more plans and with some german standardisation and luck we discovered that the military U1300 flatbed with the 3 point mounting would fit with some minor metal work. Simon will now extend out chassis to allow for a 3200mm bed to be added. This is a real win for us and will save us from building one from scratch.

Lastly painting and rust. Brilliant Silver is our colour! The cab will be sprayed inside and out and the chassis and wheels will be black.

The cab will also get new door panels and sound proofing will be added to the inside and bonnet.

Legal Paperwork day.

One of the challenges of being a Dutch national born in South Africa and living in the UK is that you might as well be living on Mars when you enter the embassy. Try and explain that you applied for certain documents in Cape Town others while living in Belgium and even more when your children were born in the UK!

I keep on wondering if the world is getting smaller or larger now that we have the information age and all information needs to be captured….

But Ilse is the paper genius and at each point when we were asked some obscure question Ilse would deliver before the sentence was done…You could see this was a battle of the admin giants!

But after a number of hours the process is under way. New Passports, New ID cards and English translations are all in process.

It amazes me that there is still spontaneous travel left in the world!!

Legal Paperwork day.

One of the challenges of being a Dutch national born in South Africa and living in the UK is that you might as well be living on Mars when you enter the embassy. Tray and explain that you applied for certain documents in Cape Town others while living in Belgium and even more when your children were born in the UK!

But Ilse is the paper genius and at each point when we were asked some obscure question Ilse would deliver before the sentence was done…You could see this was a battle of the admin giants!

But after a number of hours the process is under way. New Passports, New ID cards and English translations are all in process.

It amazes me that there is still spontaneous travel left in the world!!

Power

I have spent the past two hours trying, and i mean trying, to get my head around how power (electricity) will be flowing through the Unimog. I know i need to “own” this subject but oh my goodness is this outside my comfort zone!

And family member will be able to confirm that i do not know my earth from my ground from my live. Additionally they will be able to confirm that i hold the record for the consecutive number of getting it wrong resulting a “shock” to me or those around me…

Right! After 2 hours i finally figured out i am , or should be, or should have been, focussing on a battery to battery system. An educational journey but frustrating none the less.

One conclusion has also been that we need an estimated 400+Ah. Which helps with the physical design as it could be 4*110 or 3*160 depending on price, size or snobbery.

So onward i go!

Why is everything complicated?

One week in and the plans we drew in draft over the December holidays are now getting some meat on the bones. However every little thing takes an hour, at least! What diesel filter, what water tank, which diesel hob and oven, does it matter if the hob and oven are different brand? And the list of questions go on and on and on!

But at the end of each day it is asif the plan looks slightly more in focus, asif a small amount of progress has been made.

Our first deadline comes closer. The week of the 16th we take “her” up to the workshop. We decided to name her only once she is nearing completion. Hopefully the name will speak to us.

In the week of the 16th she goes for her service, respray and rust removal. We would like to do more but would like to first see her in full colour before making choices we might need to reverse later.

So now off to work and then tonight it is back to the books again!